Zseries sub capacity workload license charges soft caps and wlm
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zSeries, Sub-Capacity Workload License Charges, Soft-Caps, and WLM. Richard S. Ralston Humana, Inc. Contents. What is Sub-Capacity License Charges Tools Observations and Behaviors Managing the LPAR Defined Capacity Benefits Conclusions/Results References Contact Info.

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zSeries, Sub-Capacity Workload License Charges, Soft-Caps, and WLM

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zSeries, Sub-Capacity Workload License Charges, Soft-Caps, and WLM

Richard S. Ralston

Humana, Inc.


  • What is Sub-Capacity License Charges

  • Tools

  • Observations and Behaviors

  • Managing the LPAR Defined Capacity

  • Benefits

  • Conclusions/Results

  • References

  • Contact Info

What is Sub-Capacity License Charges

  • Software cost charging methodology based upon monthly usage and LPAR size definitions (LPAR Defined Capacity)

  • z/Series and z/OS only

  • VWLC software only (z/OS, DB2, CICS, Netview, COBOL, RACF, etc.)

How Sub-Capacity License Charges Work

  • Define the LPAR capacity in MSUs

  • Usage is tracked in a 4 hour rolling average

  • Charges are based upon the highest 4 hour rolling average or the LPAR Defined Capacity whichever is lower

  • Aggregate LPARs for economies of scale


  • Sub Capacity Planning Tool

  • Sub Capacity Reporting Tool

  • LPAR Capacity and Software Usage Analysis Software (LCS)

  • RMF Monitor III Facility

  • RMF Performance Monitoring (RMFPM)


  • WLM

Sub Capacity Planning Tool

  • Reads RMF Type 70 records

  • One CPC at a time

  • Creates a CSV file

  • Output data consists of the maximum MSUs used, the 4-hour rolling average for the LPARs for each SMF interval

  • Use spreadsheet/graphics software for analysis

Sub Capacity Reporting Tool

  • Uses Type 70 and 89 records

  • Must have 95% of the month’s data

  • Reporting month is from the 2nd to the 1st

  • Output is a CSV that is reviewed, edited and sent (email) to IBM for billing by the 9th of the month

  • Web-based submission – early 2005

LPAR Capacity and Software Usage Analysis Software (LCS)

  • By I/S Management Strategies, Ltd

  • Reads several files from an MXG PDB daily and builds its own LCS PDB for VWLC analysis

  • Provides a comprehensive set of reports that analyze CPC, LPAR and software usage

  • Output can be used to override the SCRT reports

LPAR Capacity and Software Usage Analysis Software (LCS)

Sample Report: SCRT1B

Used to override IBM SCRT reports.

RMF Monitor III Facility1

RMF Monitor III Facility1

  • Green fields updatable

  • Accessing

    • 1. Enter: TSO RMF

    • 2. Select option 3 – MONITOR III

    • 3. Select option 1 – Overview

    • 4. Select option 3 – CPC

  • PF10 backward, PF11 forward in time

  • Output is placed in JES where it can be saved and post processed

RMF Performance Monitoring (RMF PM)1

RMF Performance Monitoring (RMF PM)2

  • Automatically updates every minute

  • Large selection of RMF variables for display

  • Can watch multiple LPARs at a time

  • Window are fully scrollable for duration of time running

  • See Chapter 19 of the RMF manual to install and setup

MXG/MICS/SAS - Roll your own



  • SAS/Graph and spreadsheet/graphics software can develop graphics


  • Controls the usage of CPU resources in relationship to the LPAR Defined Capacity

  • When the 4-hour rolling average MSU consumption exceeds the LPAR Defined Capacity, WLM activates the soft-cap

  • Determines whether the soft-cap should be activated approximately every 10 seconds

  • A well defined and working WLM policy is important to ensure that workloads meet their objectives


  • Free Software MSUs

  • Hardware vs. Software MSUs

  • Soft Capping Behaviors

Free Software MSUs1

Free Software MSUs2

Hardware vs. Software MSUs1

Hardware vs. Software MSUs2

To find the LPAR’s Hardware MSUs use the Ratio equation:


Soft Capping Behaviors1

Soft Capping Behaviors2

Soft Capping Behaviors3

Managing the LPAR Defined Capacity

  • Using the tools to determine the LPAR Defined Capacity

  • How to set the LPAR Defined Capacity

  • When to Set the LPAR Defined Capacity

  • Getting Started

Using tools to determine the LPAR Defined Capacity1

  • SAS and MICS or MXG can be used to acquire the requisite MSU consumption data. Using at least 30 days of data, an appropriate starting point for soft-capping can be determined

  • Daily, weekly and monthly graphs (similar to those used in this paper) can be used to monitor and determine adjustments to the LPAR Defined Capacity (soft-cap).

Using tools to determine the LPAR Defined Capacity2

Average prime shift HW MSU Usage

Using tools to determine the LPAR Defined Capacity3

Daily amount of time running soft-capped

Using tools to determine the LPAR Defined Capacity4

Monthly SW MSU usage projection

Using tools to determine the LPAR Defined Capacity5

How to set the LPAR Defined Capacity1

The LPAR Defined Capacity (soft-cap) is set at the Hardware Management Console

1. Make sure you are logged on the HMC as SYSPROG

2. In the Views pane (top left) select the Groups icon

3. In the bottom left pane select the Defined CPC’s icon

4. Highlight the desired CPC. Note: Only one CPC can be highlighted at a time to correctly change LPAR settings.

How to set the LPAR Defined Capacity2

5. Rotate the right panel to the CPC Operational Customization panel

6. In the right panel select the Change LPAR Controls icon

7. Change the desired settings, specifically the soft-cap values

8. Select the Save and Change button to place the new soft-cap in effect

9. Un-highlight the CPC in the lower left pane

10. Repeat steps 4 through 9 for each CPC

When to Set the LPAR Defined Capacity1

  • Every time an LPAR Defined Capacity is raised during the billing month, the potential exists to raise the software charge for that month.

  • Once the soft-cap is reached during the month, lowering the LPAR Defined Capacity has no effect on the software bill for the month.

  • The best time to lower the LPAR Defined Capacity is late (before midnight) on the 1st day of the month (last day of the monthly billing cycle).

When to Set the LPAR Defined Capacity2

  • The best time to raise the LPAR Defined Capacity is early (after midnight) on the 2nd of the month (first day of the monthly billing cycle) so that the previous month’s bill will not be impacted.

  • To avoid possible software charge increases, always lower the soft-caps being decreased before raising the soft-caps being increased.

  • When adding CPs or upgrading try to maintain the current LPAR Defined Capacity settings, you will still benefit from additional CPs and/or speed.

Getting Started1

1. Make sure the required APARs are installed (SCRT web site).

2. Download and install the Sub-Capacity Planning Tool.

3. Run the tool against several days of RMF data.

4. Determine that the actual system usage is typically below the CPC capacity.

5. Identify the LPAR Defined Capacity values for your LPARs. Initially, make these values 2-3% below the CPC capacity.

6. Follow the steps previously identified to set the LPAR Defined Capacities.

Getting Started2

7. Monitor LPAR and workload behaviors, back out and quit if there is a problem at this low level of implementation.

8. Discuss the opportunity to use Sub-Capacity Workload License Charges with IBM and determine that it is a better license option than your current contract. If so, specify a time to convert to VWLC and change your contracts accordingly.

9. Monitor and adjust the LPAR Defined Capacities to maximize the benefit.


  • Cost Savings

  • Managing System Growth

Cost Savings1

  • A data center with 1212 software MSUs over a few CPCs running z/OS, DB2, COBOL, C++, MQSeries, CICS, HSM, DFSORT, GDDM, RMF, SDSF, RACF and Netview could be expected to pay $477,593 per month for the software.

  • However, if the aggregate sum of the MSU usage and or soft-caps was 990 MSUs the data center would only pay $432,083 for the month, which is a savings of $45,510 per month or an annual savings of $546,120 assuming no growth.

  • For short bursts of work, the full capacity of the machines is still available, at no additional cost!

Cost Savings2

  • When the LPAR Defined Capacity is implemented the actual used MSUs are slightly higher than the LPAR Defined Capacity.

  • If the same data center implemented Sub-Capacity License Charges (VWLC) and set the LPAR Defined Capacities 2% below the CPC maximums (1188 MSUs) the monthly cost would be $472,673, saving $4,920 per month. That is $59,040 per year with no noticeable change in system performance and capacity.

  • This is saving $59,000 with just a few hours of work!

Cost Savings3

  • Even small data centers can benefit from Sub-Capacity License Charges

  • Consider a small data center running a 2 CP z800 (2084-002, 60 MSUs)

  • Running the same software as described in the previous examples, the monthly cost would be $109,848

  • If the LPAR Defined Capacity is set to to 54 MSUs (90%) the cost is $105,996, saving $3,852 per month

  • The annual software savings is $46,224

  • Wouldn’t this provide an education budget!

Managing System Growth

  • Through aggressive use of WLM and the LPAR Defined Capacity, growth can be slowed down extending the life of the processors

  • Raising the LPAR Defined Capacity in small increments corresponding to growth in workloads will extend the life of the CPCs and reduce upgrades and replacements

  • When a CPU upgrade is finally required, the bonanza spurt in usage can be managed with an incremental or no increase in the LPAR Defined Capacity

  • This also provides an opportunity to manage boom/bust behaviors in CPU usage


  • Significant software cost reduction, the annual salaries of two performance and capacity analysts.

  • A rampant growth and upgrade schedule averaging one CP per month was reduced with no upgrades occurring for 5 months in a row.

  • The recommendations to raise the LPAR defined capacities have now become part of the capacity planning function and the decisions have become part of the political landscape.

  • Raising the LPAR defined capacity costs real money, which requires managerial approval.


  • Sub-Capacity License Charges provide the rare opportunity for performance and capacity analysts to directly show real cost savings, which in turn demonstrates their value to the organization.

  • All of the tools mentioned in this paper have been used.

  • SCRT provides the monthly billing reports sent to IBM.

  • LCS provides monthly corrections to the SCRT billing reports sent to IBM.

  • LCS and in house developed reports and graphs track MSU usage and have been instrumental in establishing LPAR Defined Capacity (soft-cap) values.

References - IBM web sites

  • Parallel Sysplex Aggregation –


  • RMF PM, Java TM Technology Edition – http://www-1.ibm.com/servers/eserver/zseries/zos/rmf/rmfhtmls/pmweb/pmweb.htm

  • Sub-Capacity Planning Tool -


  • Sub-Capacity Reporting Tool -


  • Workload License Charges Product Listing –


  • zSeries Software Pricing -


  • z/OS RMF - http://www-1.ibm.com/servers/eserver/zseries/zos/rmf/?ca=zSeries&met=zrmf&me=A

References - IBM Manuals

  • IBM eServer zSeries and S/390 Software Pricing Reference Guide, G326-0594-0B, January, 2004

  • eServer zSeries 900 Processor Resource/Systems Manager Planning Guide, SB10-7033-00, March, 2001

  • Planning for Subcapacity Pricing, SA22-7999-00, September, 2004

  • Planning for Workload License Charges, SA22-7506-06, December 2003

  • Using the Sub-Capacity Reporting Tool SCRT Version 9.1,

    SG24-6522-11, September, 2004

  • z/OS V1R4 RMF Programmer’s Guide, SC33-7994-03. May, 2003

  • z/OS V1R4 RMF User’s Guide, SC33-7990-05, June, 2003

References - Other web sites

  • LPAR Capacity and Software Usage Analysis Software (LCS) –


  • LPAR Pricing Listserv -


References - Other Documents

  • Marcy Nechemias, “Defined Capacity,” Draft White Paper, IBM zSeries Software

  • Alan Sherkow, “IBM’s WLC – Impact on Performance and Capacity Planning,” CMG2003

  • Alan Sherkow, LPAR Capacity and Software Usage Analysis Software (LCS) User’s Guide Version 02.03, November, 2004

  • Patricia Wingfield, “No More Downloading – Using SAS/ODS to Create SAS Graphs and HTML Documents for OS/390 Systems,” CMG2003


  • Thursday – 6:30 Champange 2

Contact Info

Richard Ralston


(502) 580-1121

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